Recommended Reading: Running on Empty: Overcome Your Childhood Emotional Neglect by Jonice Webb

Format: Kindle edition, 228 pages

Published: 1 October 2012 by Morgan James Publishing

Genres: Psychology, self-help

Goodreads | Purchase this book on Wordery

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A large segment of the population struggles with feelings of being detached from themselves and their loved ones. They feel flawed, and blame themselves. Running on Empty will help them realize that they’re suffering not because of something that happened to them in childhood, but because of something that didn’t happen. It’s the white space in their family picture, the background rather than the foreground. This will be the first self-help book to bring this invisible force to light, educate people about it, and teach them how to overcome it.

I bought this book when I had the free trial of Kindle Unlimited and I was pleasantly surprised by how much ground this book covers in its few pages. This book introduces a novel concept to some: your parents may have loved you, but they could still let you down. We are all well-versed in the far-reaching effects of child abuse, but rarely do we talk about the parent who had the best intentions, but still damaged their child.

This book is excellent because it explores this concept from all perspectives: as the child on the receiving end, and the parent. Bringing a child up is one of the hardest things you can do, because there are so many ways to not meet your child’s needs, even by accident. This book is very gentle in explaining to parents how they can be better. It also uses examples to help the reader understand a) how they may have been emotionally neglected as a child, and b) how they may be emotionally neglecting their child.

Some effects of childhood emotional neglect include feeling hollow inside as an adult, and this book helpfully offers ways to combat these feelings. Essentially, it’s about reparenting oneself and learning the healthy habits you may not have had as a child. There are charts throughout this book that can help the reader on their journey to feeling whole in adulthood.

I strongly recommend this book for therapists, parents, and anyone who has grown up feeling like they wanted more. This book should come with a guarantee: if it doesn’t change your life, you should get your money back.

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